Choosing ‘funktionslust’

My dog is a golden retriever and she loves to play ‘fetch’ with me. Her eyes would sparkle, her tails would wag and her entire body language changes when we play fetch. Such is her love for playing fetch. However, she would occasionally not retrieve the ball after I throw it to her. Instead, she would keep nibbling or chewing the ball and this would put the game to a pause.

One day I implemented a different strategy. Whenever she failed to retrieve and starts nibbling the ball, I would go and take away the ball from her and keep it inside a box. The game would come to a halt and she would keep waiting for me to throw the ball again.
After a few minutes, I would take the ball out of the box and would continue the process. If she retrieves we keep playing, if she doesn’t and starts nibbling the ball, I take away the ball from her and keep it inside the box and after a few minutes give her another opportunity to retrieve. Eventually, she got the message loud and clear.

She figured that if she wants to keep playing she will have to retrieve the ball on time. She realized that playing is more fun than simply keeping the ball to herself.

This is a reminder for all of us. The process, the journey is the fun part. If we keep fixated on the goals, we might not enjoy the process. When we are interested in the means rather than the ends, we choose ‘funktionslust‘. Being in the game for a long time is more interesting than winning the game.

Funkstionslust describes the love of doing something merely for the sake of doing it, not simply because it’s likely to work.

Artists play. We don’t analyze our return on investment or seek shortcuts. We are playing, not working, and the long way is often the best way to get to where we’re going because sometimes we’re not going anywhere.

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